Storage manufacturer Seagate has been awarded $525 milion as a settlement in its dispute with Western Digital. The pair have been in arbitration over allegations of misappropriated confidential information and use of trade secrets following a former Seagate employee moving to Western Digital. Between them, the two dominate the market — Seagate holds 40 percent of the market as compared to Western Digital's 33 percent. There's little information on the details of Seagate's complaint, and the company has yet to issue a statement in reaction to the arbitrator's award. For its part, Western Digital plans to contest the damages, with CEO and President of the firm John Coyne stating "We do not believe there is any basis in law or fact for the damage award of the arbitrator."
Western Digital goes on to state that the award will have no effect on its current strategic plans, with its takeover of Hitachi GST and reopening of the flood-stricken Thai manufacturing plants expected to go ahead as before. When you consider that the company currently holds over $3.4 billion in cash, with net profits of $726 million last year, this seems hardly surprising.